Flatfoot Surgery and Treatment

One in four adults in the US has flat feet or fallen arches, which may occur as a congenital condition or be acquired with age. The foot may be flat all the time or may lose its arch when the person stands. Most children are born with flatfoot, but develop an arch as they grow. Patients that maintain this condition may experience:

  • Heel or ankle pain
  • Tired Feet
  • Bunions
  • Arthritis
  • Foot or ankle deformities
  • Knee or back pain

Some patients may not experience any symptoms from this condition. However, flatfoot tends to worsen over time, especially in patients with a tight Achilles tendon or those who are obese. Athletes are also at a higher risk of developing flatfoot.

Treatment for flatfoot often begins with conservative lifestyle changes such as changing shoes, wearing orthotic devices and taking anti-inflammatory mediation to relieve pain. Applying ice to the foot and performing physical therapy exercises are also usually helpful for many patients. In severe cases, or those that do not respond to conservative treatments, surgery may be needed to relieve symptoms and correct the problem. Surgery for flatfoot may involve removing or reshaping a bone or bone spur, or fusing one or more of the bones in the foot together.